“It’s one small step for man, [mais] A giant leap for humanityIt took a few words and a few steps forward for Neil Armstrong to go down in history. It should also be noted that the American did not drag his feet anywhere. On July 21, 1969, it was on our natural satellite, the Moon, that he made a historic arrival, the first man to set foot on the lunar soil.
Who was Neil Armstrong?
Neil Alden Armstrong, his full name, was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, USA. The eldest of three siblings, he developed a passion for aviation at an early age, thanks to his father, who took him to watch air races. He made his first flight at the age of six.
He later tried his hand at model making while waiting to be old enough to take flying lessons. He finally got his pilot’s license in 1945 at the age of 16. Two years later, in 1947, the young man began space research at Purdue University. But his career turned upside down when he was called to join the Navy on 26 January 1949.
In the picture, in the picture 50 years later, revisit images of Apollo 11 and man’s first steps on the moon
He took the opportunity to pursue pilot training which culminated in obtaining his diploma in August 1950. In the following months, he learned to fly the new aircraft, enriching his experience with hundreds of flights. In 1951, he was sent to Korea where the war was raging: he flew over 70 missions there, accumulating 121 flight hours by March 1952.
After serving in the Navy, the pilot decided to return to university and graduated in January 1955 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. A few months later, he joined an aeronautical research center as a test pilot. Located in Cleveland where he trained on numerous aircraft including experimental models such as the North American X-15.
By the time he left in 1962, Neil Armstrong had accumulated more than 2,450 flight hours in more than 200 different aircraft. But it’s another career that awaits him: astronaut.
How did Neil Armstrong become an astronaut?
Neil Armstrong joined NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), the forerunner of NASA, before transferring to the American space agency in 1958. day. He was chosen for a few but none came to fruition.
His career as an astronaut finally began in 1962. After attending a conference on space exploration, he decided to apply to be part of NASA’s astronaut team. His application came late but the help of an acquaintance and his test results allowed him to be selected.
In 1965, he was nominated as a replacement for a space rendezvous mission that took off without him on 21 August. In 1966, the roles were reversed: it was Armstrong’s turn to be appointed commander of the Gemini 8 manned mission. He took off on the 16th, but a technical incident forced the commander and his pilot to cut the mission short by several hours.
The Apollo program is a continuation of the Gemini program. His goal: to land a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s. Armstrong is named the successor commander of the Apollo 8 mission. But he would finally have to wait for Apollo 11 to know his moment of glory.
Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon
For Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, then 39, was accompanied by two other astronauts, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins. The trio took off on July 16, 1969 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the east coast of the United States. Twelve minutes later, the ship and its crew were placed into Earth orbit.
⋙ Apollo 11 and the first steps on the moon: A look back at the missions that marked space history
The journey from Earth to the Moon then lasted three days after which the Apollo spacecraft were placed in lunar orbit. After thirteen rotations around the satellite, the two parts of the ship separate to leave the module the eagle Prepare then surface. Aldrin is on board, along with Collins, in the Armstrong module Columbia.
Finally on July 20, 1969 at 8:17 p.mthe eagle The landing operation is confirmed by Armstrong, much to the relief of the Earth team, with this message: “Houston, it’s Tranquility Base, Eagle landed“A very long preparation followed for the departure of additional vehicles.
Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon took place at 2:56 UTC on July 21, more than 6 hours after landing. This feat was followed by millions of viewers around the world who heard the now legendary phrase: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” in french, “That’s one small step for humans [mais] A giant leap for humanity“
Armstrong thus became the first man to set foot on the moon, followed 19 minutes later by Buzz Aldrin. The two spent a total of two and a half hours on the satellite’s surface, mostly collecting samples and deploying scientific instruments. In total, they collected about twenty kilograms of lunar material and brought it back inside the module.
When the mission was complete, Armstrong and Aldrin left the lunar surfacethe eagle To successfully locate the command module in orbit. The return to Earth took two and a half days, after which the three astronauts landed in the Pacific Ocean before being picked up by an aircraft carrier. USS Hornets.
What happened to Neil Armstrong after Apollo 11?
The Apollo 11 mission and man’s first steps on the moon, broadcast live, are among the most watched television events in history with nearly 600 million viewers worldwide. Upon returning to Earth, Armstrong and his two friends are greeted as true heroes.
After going through quarantine, the trio embarked on a celebratory tour that took them to nearly twenty countries and didn’t end until thirty days later. Despite the impact of the mission, Neil Armstrong announced shortly afterwards that he had no intention of returning to space. Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 would be the only missions in which he would participate.
In 1971, the astronaut resigned from NASA and began to devote himself to teaching, still in the field of aeronautics. He also serves as a spokesperson for several American companies. In 1986, he returned to space by joining the Commission of Inquiry into the dramatic accident of the Challenger shuttle.
How did Neil Armstrong die?
Over the years, Neil Armstrong gradually withdrew from public life and remained on his remote Ohio farm. Coming out of his reserve on very rare occasions, he refused interviews and no longer signed autographs, after discovering that they could be sold for large sums of money.
The American died on August 7, 2012 at the age of 82 due to heart complications. When his death was announced, many tributes were paid to him. His family describes him as “An American hero against his will“, who has “Served his nation proudly as a Navy pilot, test pilot and then astronaut.”
John Glenn, the first American to achieve a flight into orbit, also saluted the memory of the lunar pioneer when the then American President Barack Obama said himself “deeply sorry“, adding that”Neal was among the greatest American heroes not only of today, but of all time.”
In later years, many more tributes were paid to him. Sites are named after him and his story is the subject of several biographies, including one that inspired the film. First Man: The first man on the moon Directed by Damien Chazelle with Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong.
Apollo 11 and Others: The Conquest of the Moon You May Not Know About
Who was the first man to fly in space, Yuri Gagarin?
Thomas Peskett: “From space, the Earth looks like a fragile soap bubble”